If all devices and software were made by single company our lives would be much simplified. If that company were Apple, we would use our Apple ID to log in everywhere, to access our messages, files, apps, subscriptions, past purchases, and make transactions.
But sooner or later, most of us find ourselves using other ‘platforms’, the most popular being Microsoft and Google.
Microsoft and Google’s wide-ranging services are accessed and managed using an ‘ID’ or account. It’s much similar to how we access Apple’s services with our Apple ID:
We create an account (e.g. using an email address and password) with which we associate our name, address, payment details if necessary, and so on.
Just like Apple, Google and Microsoft require us to log in to access their ‘ecosystems’. For Google we have a Google Account, and for Microsoft, we have a Microsoft Account. Setting up these accounts is easy, and free. Although many of the services they provide are not free.
What we want to avoid is unnecessarily or accidentally creating multiple accounts for a given ‘platform’ (Apple, Microsoft, Google..), as this can result in misplaced data, subscriptions and purchases.
Therefore, when you create an Apple ID, Microsoft Account, or Google account, make a note of it, and use them consistently when signing in. Having a single account for each platform will ensure easy management in future.
Cross platform compatibility.
Apple products work seamlessly across Apple devices. Accessing those same products on a Google device may require a little extra effort, because Apple’s products aren’t ‘native’ to Google’s platform. The same will be true when using Microsoft products on an Apple device. Or Apple products on a Microsoft device.
The rule of thumb is, if it isn’t made under the same roof, it may require just a little extra effort to get it working, which is understandable.
Having said this, all three platforms make great effort to ensure their products are accessible on other platforms, and often use industry standardised, instead of proprietary, technologies for this purpose. Therefore, we can embrace Microsoft and Google products on Apple devices, and are encouraged to do so by Apple.
For each platform, you can view all aspects of your account (e.g. personal details, payment details, active subscriptions, previous purchases…). In doing so, you’ll confirm you know your account credentials (username and password), can check or change payment method, subscriptions, and much more.